Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Some mysterious sayings

Young Jesus teaching

'As for the man who leads astray one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone round his neck. If your hand is your undoing, cut it of; it is better for you to enter into life maimed than to keep both hands and go to hell and the unquenchable fire. And if it is your foot that leads you astray, cut it off; it is better to enter into life a cripple than to keep both your feet and be thrown into hell. And if it is your eye, tear it out; it is better to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into hell, where the devouring worm never dies and the fire is not quenched.'  Mark 9: 41-49

How well Jesus teaches us, using memorable images to help us know what's most important.  Here in these verses: handseyes and feet are internal places. Jesus is teaching: Your interior life is serious business. So in that inner life steer clear of evil things - let nothing take you away from friendship with God.

And what might that inner menace be? Superficiality. An arrogant heart that looks down on other people. Incessant inner chatter. Stoking the fires of division. Unresolved issues which bring about emotional overload. Maybe even over-commitment which exhausts us, leaving little time for anything else. 

It's all an invitation to self-knowledge. Opinion-ating might be an avoidance tactic - deflecting us from the inner work of coming to self-knowledge. An inner life in this state can be a living hell.


  1. God knows our inner place. He knows the darkness inside of us. Once I realized this, I was able to confront my demons instead of trying to hide them. With prayer and hard work, I have been able to cut them free.

  2. It is a great post!! It really encourages me to look into myself and deal with those weaknesses that disconnect me from a sincere and humble relationship with God. I need this energy for my laziness in going to confession.

  3. I can relate to a living helL and the desire to clean up an inner life. Thank you for the encouragement.

  4. I really enjoy that post too. I used to struggle with despair to such a great extent, and someone told me God Created you, He knows all the evil inside you more clearly than you do, and he see's all of it and part of Gods Mercy is only revealing us to ourselves a sheath at a time like an onion when He knows we are ready to be able to look at ourselves. If we really saw the extent of all of our evil we would die. Thank you for that Post Cory.

    And thank you Fr. Stephen, I never was able to see past this Gospel besides its literal saying. I really enjoy it when you explain the Gospels. It helps me because I am not that good in looking and understanding the deeper meanings. Thank you, for you sincerity.

    1. Thank you for your kindness and understanding Aaron. Life is much better replacing the evils inside with God's love. And I couldn't agree more with your appreciation of being able to have a deeper look into the meaning of the Gospels.

  5. We're only wrapping up chapter 9 of St. Mark's Gospel. We've a long way to go. Big joy for me!